My Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2017

Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2017
It’s finally here…big, buzzy book season! For those that don’t closely follow the publishing industry, Fall is traditionally when the buzziest books by the biggest name authors hit the shelves. We’ve got new books coming from Celeste Ng, Nelson DeMille, Alice Hoffman, Dan Brown, Jennifer Egan, and Andy Weir.

But, a number of books from lesser known or debut authors caught me eye as well! And, a couple of those are international books hitting U.S. soil for the first time this Fall.

Last year, four of the books I picked for my Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2016 list ended up being hits for me. Let’s see if I can beat that this year!

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Sourdough by Robin Sloan (September 5, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)
I loved Sloan’s quirky novel about bookstores, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, and now he’s writing about food! Admittedly, I can’t begin to figure out what about food this book is actually about. More power to anyone who can decipher this blurb…

Lois Clary is a software engineer at General Dexterity, a San Francisco robotics company with world-changing ambitions. She codes all day and collapses at night, her human contact limited to the two brothers who run the neighborhood hole-in-the-wall from which she orders dinner every evening. Then, disaster! Visa issues. The brothers close up shop, and fast. But they have one last delivery for Lois: their culture, the sourdough starter used to bake their bread. She must keep it alive, they tell her—feed it daily, play it music, and learn to bake with it.

When Lois comes before the jury that decides who sells what at Bay Area markets, she encounters a close-knit club with no appetite for new members. But then, an alternative emerges: a secret market that aims to fuse food and technology. But who are these people, exactly?

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (September 12, Penguin Press)
I’ve already read this one and it’s great! Which is good news because it had big shoes to fill (Ng’s debut, Everything I Never Told You, was a huge hit and was Amazon’s Best Book of 2014…and I loved it). 

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned […]. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson (September 12, Ecco)
It’s about time for a heart-wrenching, Southern saga for me…hoping this is it! It’s been described as “To Kill a Mockingbird meets Beloved” and has gotten some eyebrow-raising blurbs (Cristina Henriquez, author of The Book of Unknown Americans called it “art of the highest order”).

Cotton County, Georgia, 1930: in a house full of secrets, two babies-one light-skinned, the other dark-are born to Elma Jesup, a white sharecropper’s daughter. Accused of her rape, field hand Genus Jackson is lynched and dragged behind a truck down the Twelve-Mile Straight, the road to the nearby town. In the aftermath, the farm’s inhabitants are forced to contend with their complicity in a series of events that left a man dead and a family irrevocably fractured.

The Cuban Affair by Nelson DeMille (September 19, Simon & Schuster)
Years ago, Nelson DeMille was one of my favorite authors…and his The Gold Coast was one of my favorite books. He’s still a solid go-to thriller writer for me and I’m looking forward to this departure from his John Corey novels.

Daniel Graham MacCormick—Mac for short—seems to have a pretty good life. At age thirty-five he’s living in Key West, owner of a forty-two-foot charter fishing boat, The Maine. One day, Mac is sitting in the famous Green Parrot Bar in Key West, contemplating his life, and waiting for Carlos, a hotshot Miami lawyer heavily involved with anti-Castro groups. Carlos wants to hire Mac and The Maine for a ten-day fishing tournament to Cuba at the standard rate, but Mac suspects there is more to this […].

The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall (September 19, Ballantine Books)
I’ve read an excerpt of this novel that has been compared Fates and Furies and The Mothers and really liked the writing! Hopefully, it can keep up it’s good start. 

A timely novel about an accusation against a beloved schoolteacher and the repercussions on his loved ones, exploring issues of loyalty, truth, and the meaning of happiness through the lens of an all-American family on the brink of collapse.


Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan (October 3, Scribner)
I’ve never read Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad, but it won a bunch of awards (including the 2011 Pulitzer) and people seem to love it. So, I’m looking forward to giving her venture into historical fiction a try.

Manhattan Beach opens in Brooklyn during the Great Depression. Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to the house of a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. Anna observes the uniformed servants, the lavishing of toys on the children, and some secret pact between her father and Dexter Styles. Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. […] At a night club, she chances to meet Styles, the man she visited with her father before he vanished, and she begins to understand the complexity of her father’s life.

Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit (October 3, Harper)
The Dinner is one of my all-time favorite novels and I’ve been looking for a similar book for quite awhile. Fear has not only been compared to The Dinner, but Herman Koch himself blurbed it! 

An acclaimed German writer makes his American debut with this gripping and sophisticated thriller reminiscent of The Dinner and the early novels of Ian McEwan, about the murder of a neighbor who had been harassing a middle-class family—and the relative imprisoned for the crime.

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak (October 17, Berkley Books)
This debut novel was one of the more hyped books at this year’s Book Expo event and I love “family gets back together” books (This Is Where I Leave You, anyone?!).

A warm, wry, sharply observed debut novel about what happens when a family is forced to spend a week together in quarantine over the holidays…

The Floating World by C. Morgan Babst (October 17, Algonquin)
I’m intrigued by the Hurricane Katrina setting and it got a starred review in Kirkus

A dazzling debut about family, home, and grief, The Floating World takes readers into the heart of Hurricane Katrina with the story of the Boisdorés, whose roots stretch back nearly to the foundation of New Orleans.


The Senator’s Children by Nicholas Montemarano (November 7, Tin House)
Annie B. Jones of the From the Front Porch podcast has been talking up this book for awhile now! And, since Annie is my new go-to book recommendation guru (I read Rabbit CakeStandard Deviation, and American Fire on her recommendation), that’s all I need to know! 

Sisters Betsy and Avery have never met, but they have both spent their lives under the scrutiny of prying cameras and tabloid journalists. Their father, David Christie, was a charismatic senator and promising presidential candidate until infidelity destroyed his campaign and his family’s life. In the aftermath, Betsy grieves her broken family, while Avery struggles with growing up estranged from her infamous father yet still exposed by the national spotlight.

Artemis by Andy Weir (November 14, Crown)
The author of the smash hit The Martian is back with his sophomore novel! 

Jazz Bashara is a criminal. […] Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent. Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down.


Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughn (December 5, Atria Books)
I don’t normally read new releases in December, but this one sounds so totally up my alley that I’m going to have to break with tradition! And, Claire Fuller (author of Our Endless Numbered Days and Swimming Lessons) called it “brilliant, shocking, and gripping.” 

An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.

*All book summaries (in block quotes) are from Goodreads (edited for length).

What Fall 2017 books are you looking forward to?

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  1. Renee wrote:

    Love this post Sarah! You’ve just greatly increased my Netgalley and Edelweiss requests:) How did I miss Seven Days of Us up until now…This is Where I leave You is one of my all time favs and one of a few books I’ve read more than once. I’m super curious about Manhattan Beach and The Floating World as well. Fall reading is the BEST!!

    Posted 8.15.17 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Ha – let’s hope it lives up to that one!

      I’m still trying to get my hands on a copy of The Floating World!

      Posted 8.17.17 Reply
  2. Great list! I need to get my hands on the new Ng.

    Posted 8.15.17 Reply
    • Me too! I’m looking forward to that one!

      Posted 8.15.17 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Yes, you do!

      Posted 8.17.17 Reply
  3. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that we have five books in common (mine won’t be up until next week), and I see several here that I’ve missed. The Best Kind of People and The Senator’s Children are two I’m going to check out immediately. As always, wonderful list and presentation, Sarah>

    Posted 8.15.17 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Can’t wait to see yours! I’m sure it’ll add a couple more books to my TBR 🙂

      Posted 8.17.17 Reply
  4. I have the Egan in my TBR stack (and like you, never read Goon Squad).

    A recommendation from Clare Fuller? Sign me up for Anatomy of a Scandal then! (I’m totally sucked in by author testimonials!).

    Posted 8.15.17 Reply
  5. Of these, I think I’m most looking forward to Artemis. I didn’t read The Martian, but this one looks like it would float my boat. The Twelve-Mile Straight looks amazing, but it’s SO long. So we’ll see if I have time for that one.

    Posted 8.16.17 Reply
  6. Michelle wrote:

    Oh, man. My September review copy list is HUGE! I stopped requesting books for the rest of the year after I realized how many books I have to read in that one month. I know I am going to miss out on some killer books in October/November/December, but I would love to go into 2018 caught up and maybe even ahead of the game. I still managed to snag a copy of Artemis though. My willpower only extends so far…

    Posted 8.16.17 Reply
  7. I’m super excited for Celeste Ng’s and Andy Weir’s next book too! I have high hopes 🙂

    Posted 8.20.17 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Well I can vouch for the Ng…I have high hopes for the Weir too!

      Posted 8.21.17 Reply
  8. Ooh, can’t wait to hear your thoughts on The Floating World! It’s not a book I can read (can’t do flood stories), but I’m glad that it’s a Hurricane Katrina story written by a person who lived through Katrina. Keep me posted!

    Posted 8.20.17 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Me too – the last book I read about Katrina was nonfiction (Five Days at Memorial)…will be interested to see how the portrayal of the hurricane details stack up!

      Posted 8.21.17 Reply
  9. Catherine wrote:

    You do have some yummy options here. Of course I’m ready for DeMille to birth a new hero!

    I’m going to let you vet the new Weir. Part of me thinks he might be a one-hit wonder. Plus, my record with sophomore novels is NOT good. I’m almost always disappointed.

    We have similar reading coming up, but in addition I’m looking forward to the new Salman Rushdie, The Golden House, the new Ken Follett, A Column of Fire, and the new Claire Messud, The Burning Girl.

    Posted 8.21.17 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I’m totally looking forward to Burning Girl too! Have that on pre-release hold at the library!

      And I liked the previous Folletts, but don’t have a 1,000 page novel in me right now.

      Posted 8.23.17 Reply
  10. L Greenlaw wrote:

    Love those list!

    Posted 8.24.17 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:


      Posted 8.30.17 Reply
  11. Allison wrote:

    What a great list! I’m excited to start Little Fires Everywhere this week. I have been on the fence about Twelve-Mile Straight. I love Southern literature, but I’ve heard mixed reviews about this one.

    Posted 9.22.17 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I think you’ll love Little Fires!!

      And, if you want some hard-hitting Southern lit that’s similar to 12 Mile Straight, but much shorter and faster paced, I’d go with Mudbound by Hillary Jordan. It’s fantastic.

      Posted 9.22.17 Reply

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